Cliffbee.com: 6" Titanium Hot Zone Toy Review

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Name: Hot Zone (essentially, this is Hot Spot, but Hasbro lost access to the name)
Series: 6" Titaniums
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Fire Truck



FIRE TRUCK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 5cm

   A light blue fire truck based on RiD Prime, Hot Zone is basically Hot Spot, so I'll refer to the G1 Protectobot as the original version of this character. There are red pinstripes running down either side, a silver ladder on top of a black base, grey painted windows on the cab and some silver here and there such as the wipers on his windshield. There are six black plastic wheels and stamped black logos incorporating the Autobot logo on the sides of the cab. The colours are reasonably close to those of the original, and while the ladder was white in G1, the tribute is obvious thanks to the distinctive blue and a very similar boxy shape.

   It's a good truck mode, really, and considering that the transformation had to be totally redone compared to the RiD toy, it's an admirable effort. The middle section is a little gappy, which is the only notable negative here. The basic shape is quite similar to Hot Spot's. The ladder is quite well done, there are moulded and painted windshield wipers, seams where appropriate and a sculpted (but unpainted) stroberack.

   The wheels all roll and the ladder can lift to 90, the nozzle section swings down 180 with two nozzles that fold out at the tip. The base rotates through 360, there's some wiggle in the baseplate itself, but it'll basically stay in place while the ladder moves around. This truck mode holds together fairly well, actually, certainly better than some of the other 6" Titaniums.

   A pretty good truck mode, without any notable flaws, which is not a given in this line. I would have liked to see something in the way of headlights, but on the whole it's a good fire truck mode. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect is just how well this truck works as Hot Spot, considering it was never designed with him in mind. Granted Hot Zone has some colour changes, but the tribute is instantly recognisable to those familiar with the Protectobots.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unfold the panels forming the cabin, flip forward and reassemble to form his boots and reveal the thighs. His feet actually fold out from under the roof during this process. Slide the rear section forward, stand him up. Split the rear tray section, swing down to the sides to form his arms, rotate the shoulders, swing the forearms into place and flip out his fists. Slide the black ladder base down, rotate the ladder out over his right shoulder as a shoulder cannon. The last step is optional, by the way (I'll come back to that).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 10cm

   A blue robot with black thighs and fists, Hot Zone has black feet and a silver groin. He's co-opting the larger, super, RiD Prime. The chest cleverly uses the orange patch of that robot - it's now painted red just as Hot Spot's chestplate was. On this chest there's a black Autobot badge stamped on the right. The boots are painted to resemble the front wheels of the truck - there are false tyres on his knees (with the rear front tyres visible below). The head is black with a silver mouth and eyes - it avoids the red eyes of the original, since red eyes are generally reserved for Decepticons these days. The silver ladder either hangs off the back or sits on his left shoulder. Again the colours make this tribute easy to pick - the chest is especially impressive.

   Time for the die-cast roll call. The chest, shoulders and feet are metal, which makes Hot Zone rather top heavy, yet he's still remarkably stable when all's said and done. Even the panel-formed boots stay assembled without causing any trouble. The engineering is again really good, and along with the stability, nothing is too loose or too tight.

   Hot Zone is quite blocky, but this doesn't mean he's not poseable. The head turns, his shoulders rotate and lift out the sides while his elbows bend and feature ratcheting rotators as well. The waist and hips are also ratcheting, the latter in two planes of movement. His knees bend back maybe 45 and there are (ratcheting) rotators mid thigh to help his knees out. Hot Zone's ankles are fixed, but then loose ankles could bring the whole thing crashing down, so fixed ankles are fine by me.

   There are holes in his fists but nothing to place in them, so the holes are only for show. There are panels on the outsides of his forearms, lifting them up reveals rather rudimentary wrist guns - which are unpainted. Adding to this the fact that they're still half hidden underneath the panels, I can't say I'm really keen on the whole thing. Still, the designer did bother to add in this feature, I guess. The ladder over his left shoulder is kickass, however. It's a huge cannon, and the nozzles on the end sell it as a weapon. It doesn't cause any real balance issues, either. It's not a feature found on the original Hot Spot of course, but provides nice play value here.

   Considering this robot mode is quite obviously taken from RiD Prime, the designer has done a great job of making it look like Hot Spot. The red chest, black head and placement of black in general sell this as a Hot Spot repaint. Sure it's a tad forced, but the choice is quite clever, really. It's a good robot mode anyway - he's stable and poseable with a great shoulder cannon. While there's slightly less metal than on some of the other Titaniums, I'd rather a successful toy than a heavy one that flops.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of the RiD Optimus Prime Titanium. Unlike earlier Titaniums, Hot Zone does not come with a stand.

OVERALL

   A very good repaint of a toy representing one character meant to represent another character. The colours make Hot Zone work as Hot Spot, and it helps that the vehicle mode is very close anyway. The robot mode's tribute is strong despite the distinct shades of RiD Prime, and while those shades will bother some, this tribute repaint is better than most. The execution of this mould is amongst the best in the Titanium line. The play value is decent, the poseability in robot mode is great, the stability in both mode is good the transformation is quite different. If you like Titaniums and the Protectobots, I'd recommend this repaint - 8/10

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